How we discover, how we work, and how our choices affect the world around us are being shifted by the work of these four companies.
Jorre van Ast is a creative director, designer, and the fourth generation to lead the family company Arco. Arco designs develops and produces tables, but also the products that go with them, like chairs, cabinets, small furniture, and accessories. Craftsmanship and innovation are at the heart of their business. Jorre values the company’s heritage and uses his visionto ensure the strategy and collection are ‘future-proof’. Under his guidance, the furniture collection, which still includes many best-selling pieces of the past, is slowly but surely being expanded and acquiring an even more distinctive signature. Innovation and sustainability are outlasting key principles for Arco as well as an uncompromising commitment to very high standards of quality and the art of furniture making.
Gregg Buchbinder was born and raised in Southern California by two creative parents. Surfing every day, being near and in the ocean, gave him a strong appreciation for and a connection to the environment. Gregg’s life revolved around design, building things, his love for the ocean and concern for the environment. In 1998 Buchbinder walked into Emeco, a down-at-the-heels military supplier in Hanover, PA. As Gregg tells it, “The company was about to go into bankruptcy. A small crew of dispirited craftsmen remained. But I saw good bones. I saw heart, history and everything I had grown up with; simple purposeful design, rock-solid craftsmanship and the use of recycled materials made into something that was made to last. I saw all this in one chair – The Navy Chair.” By developing partnerships with renowned people like Philippe Starck and Frank Gehry, Buchbinder has turned Emeco into an innovative and timeless icon.
Over the past 25 years, Daniel Krivens has worked with leading businesses in the San Francisco Bay Area to redefine their workplace and hospitality brand experiences. In 2015, Krivens initiated his own practice to take a deeper dive into creating designs driven by our natural wiring. He was recently solicited by Quartz to share his new thinking about workplace design in a widely cited article titled “The case for designing offices more like bars”. The idea is to lower barriers, helping to initiate conversations by creating bar-height table interfaces where people sitting are face to face with each other, and eye to eye with people walking by. Krivens also uses his stash of parts, reclaimed off of the Golden Gate and old Bay Bridge, in his furniture designs. He sees this not only as a vehicle to get people talking but also a means of connecting people through creative adaptation of a shared history.
Jonathan Durling is a founding partner of Sossego. He is an artist, photographer, and entrepreneur. Sossego is the Portuguese word for tranquility which is easily experienced when admiring one of their pieces. Sossego was formed after a serendipitous meeting in Ann Arbor, Michigan of two native Brazilians: former engineering executive, now award-winning furniture designer Aristeu Pires and Durling. The two connected over their mutual love of modern design and Brazilian culture. A dual citizen of Brazil and the U.S., Durling was compelled to bring authentic Brazilian design, its warm and modern aesthetic, and the way of life it represents to North America. Several partners caught the vision and joined his quest to introduce modern Brazilian design to the USA.